Mahathir launches new party, his ex-finance minister gets charged with bribery

Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysia’s two-time ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who turned 95 this July, on August 7 announced that he is launching a new political party ahead of a possible snap election expected for the first quarter of next year at the earliest.

That would theoretically give him a chance to topple his successor Muhyiddin Yassin who replaced him as prime minister earlier this year through a internal coup, but since stood on shaky ground with only a narrow majority in parliament.

Mahathir said tentatively that he would chair the still nameless party while his son, Mukhriz Mahathir, would be president and three independent members of parliament would join him, namely Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Maszlee Malik and Amiruddin Hamzah.

(UPDATE: On August 12, Mahathir announced the name of his newly founded party as “Pejuang,” which means warrior.)

He said the necessary registration papers have yet to be submitted, but that this would be done as soon as possible, adding that the party will be neither part of the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition nor the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition. 

Mahathir said the new party will be “independent” but based on the founding principles of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, or Bersatu, which he founded in 2016 and with which he won the 2018 general election, but “since has deviated from its cause.” The party would be focused on fighting corruption and ensuring Malaysia “once again becomes an Asian tiger.”

He noted that “most of Bersatu’s grassroots members” were supporting him.

Mahathir’s minister allegedly asked for bribes in 2011

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s ex-finance minister Lim Guan Eng has been charged in a corruption case from years ago. Lim was minister in the formerly ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition under Mahathir Mohamad as the country’s prime minister from May 2018 to February 2020.

Prosecutors accused Lim of demanding bribes in connection with a $1.5-billion undersea tunnel project in northern Penang state in 2011 during his term as Penang’s chief minister. He allegedly was asking for ten per cent of future profits in exchange for helping a company win the contract to undertake several construction projects.

Lim, 59, was arrested in the night of August 6 and charged under section 16 of Malaysia’s anti-corruption act which carries a fine of up to five times the value of the bribe and a jail term of up to 20 years.

Lim pleaded not guilty in Kuala Lumpur’s Special Corruption Court on August 7.



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Mahathir Mohamad Malaysia's two-time ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who turned 95 this July, on August 7 announced that he is launching a new political party ahead of a possible snap election expected for the first quarter of next year at the earliest. That would theoretically give him a chance to topple his successor Muhyiddin Yassin who replaced him as prime minister earlier this year through a internal coup, but since stood on shaky ground with only a narrow majority in parliament. Mahathir said tentatively that he would chair the still nameless party while his son, Mukhriz Mahathir, would be president...

Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysia’s two-time ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who turned 95 this July, on August 7 announced that he is launching a new political party ahead of a possible snap election expected for the first quarter of next year at the earliest.

That would theoretically give him a chance to topple his successor Muhyiddin Yassin who replaced him as prime minister earlier this year through a internal coup, but since stood on shaky ground with only a narrow majority in parliament.

Mahathir said tentatively that he would chair the still nameless party while his son, Mukhriz Mahathir, would be president and three independent members of parliament would join him, namely Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Maszlee Malik and Amiruddin Hamzah.

(UPDATE: On August 12, Mahathir announced the name of his newly founded party as “Pejuang,” which means warrior.)

He said the necessary registration papers have yet to be submitted, but that this would be done as soon as possible, adding that the party will be neither part of the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition nor the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition. 

Mahathir said the new party will be “independent” but based on the founding principles of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, or Bersatu, which he founded in 2016 and with which he won the 2018 general election, but “since has deviated from its cause.” The party would be focused on fighting corruption and ensuring Malaysia “once again becomes an Asian tiger.”

He noted that “most of Bersatu’s grassroots members” were supporting him.

Mahathir’s minister allegedly asked for bribes in 2011

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s ex-finance minister Lim Guan Eng has been charged in a corruption case from years ago. Lim was minister in the formerly ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition under Mahathir Mohamad as the country’s prime minister from May 2018 to February 2020.

Prosecutors accused Lim of demanding bribes in connection with a $1.5-billion undersea tunnel project in northern Penang state in 2011 during his term as Penang’s chief minister. He allegedly was asking for ten per cent of future profits in exchange for helping a company win the contract to undertake several construction projects.

Lim, 59, was arrested in the night of August 6 and charged under section 16 of Malaysia’s anti-corruption act which carries a fine of up to five times the value of the bribe and a jail term of up to 20 years.

Lim pleaded not guilty in Kuala Lumpur’s Special Corruption Court on August 7.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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